The rabbit’s foot that Carterville had in its pocket Tuesday afternoon fell out in the bottom of the fourth inning when Massac County erased a 4-1 lead by sending 15 batters to the plate, scoring 10 of them.
Massac had base traffic in all three innings to start the game after Carterville scored twice in each of its first two at bats, but each time, the inning ended with Massac lining into a double play. Maddie Jenkins, Claire Bremer and Sophie Bormann all lined into inning-ending twin killings.
But the game has a way of evening things out, and the fourth inning way more than evened things out for Massac. Kaylee Batha led off the fourth with a single followed by a double by Cali McCraw and an infield single by Jenkins. Jenna Bunting kept the line moving with a single. Bremer added an infield single. Larkin Korte was hit by a pitch to load things up. Bormann plated a couple with a single, then speedster Emma Austin lined a hard single into right, plating two more, and the rout was on. Macy Pierce put the icing on the cake with a hooking RBI liner that kicked up chalk on the right field foul line before Bremer flew out to center to end the barrage.
With an 11-4 lead after four innings, Massac had only to hold on for the win. Carterville added two more runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the sixth inning before Mother Nature intervened. Massac countered the Carterville run in the top of the sixth with a McCraw homer to open the bottom of the sixth, but then the skies opened, and with a tight window to get the remaining games in, the umpiring crew and the coaches agreed to call the game after five complete innings fixing the final score at 11-6.
Massac is scheduled to host the winner of Johnston City and Trico today, Thursday, June 10, for the sectional championship.
Following a 19-2 regular season run, Massac County’s Lady Patriots softball team demolished Anna-Jonesboro by a score of 13-1 for an opening round regional win. Massac was led by Bunting, who clubbed a pair of homers and drove in six runs in the win. After the Friday afternoon “short-game” win over the Lady Wildcats, the girls faced a more formidable foe in the Lady Foxes from Hamilton County on Saturday morning.
The Lady Pats faced Hamilton County back in late April and came away with a 12-5 road win. This one was a little tougher, but the end result was the same as the girls shut out the Foxes 5-0. Austin gave starting pitcher McCraw all the support she would need in the bottom of the third inning when she walked, stole second and scored from second base when Batha dropped a bunt in front of home plate. When the throw went to first to attempt to get Batha, Austin raced around third and never slowed down. The ladies added three insurance runs in the fourth inning, but McCraw had all the cushion she would need and the tally ended at 5-0, and the girls had a Class 2A Regional Championship.